BSAEU B.Ed 1st Semester Study Materials English Version Free Download || Course: 1.1.2, Contemporary India & Education, 1st Half || Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution

Introduction:

The world’s largest democracy is found in India. Therefore, the Indian constitution has a wide range of elements. Fundamental rights are enshrined in the third section of the Indian Constitution (Articles 12-35). Durgadas Basu, a well-known legal scholar who specialises in the notion of fundamental rights, claims that-

“fundamental rights means those rights protected by the Constitution.”

In other words, there are two types of civil rights: legal rights and basic rights. By passing general laws, the government can alter legal rights. However, the constitution must be changed in order to alter the fundamental rights.

Fundamental Rights in the Indian Constitution

At the time of enactment of the Constitution in 1949, there were seven fundamental rights in the Constitution, but later in 1978, the 44th Amendment abolished the right to property and changed it to a statutory right. Such as –

  1. Right to equality, 
  2. Right to freedom, 
  3. Right against exploitation, 
  4. Right to culture and education, 
  5. Right to religious freedom and 
  6. Right to Constitutional Remedies.

1. Right to equality

The Constitution’s Articles 14–18 guarantee the right to equality. The culture of race, religion, caste, place of birth, rich-poor, aristocracy-non-male, and female-male possibilities and demands are all included in the right to equality. These cultural aspects are crucial for each citizen’s personal growth. 

For example, 

  1. Equality before the Law and Equal Protection of the Laws, 
  2. Prohibition of Discrimination, 
  3. Equality of Opportunity in Respect of Public Appointment, 
  4. Abolition of Untouchability, 
  5. Abolition of Titles.

2. The right to freedom

These rights are enshrined in Articles 19-22 of the Constitution. The right to freedom can be divided into five parts. 1. Right to speech and expression, 2. Right to assemble, 3. Right to form associations and societies, 4. Right to freedom of movement, 5. Right to live, 6. Right to scholarship.

3. Right against exploitation

In the political, social, and economic domains, justice is promised by the Indian Constitution. To keep this promise, exploitation must stop. Rights against exploitation are mentioned in Articles 23 and 24 of the Indian Constitution. As per Article 23 of the Constitution, it is strictly forbidden to engage minors under the age of 14 in hazardous occupations and the sale and purchase of human beings is a criminal offence.

4. The right to religious freedom

Article 25 of the Constitution states that every citizen of India has the right to adopt any religion according to his or her conscience and belief, to observe religious rites, and to propagate his or her religion. Again, Article 27 of the Constitution mentions an important aspect of secularism. This section states that the state may not force any person to pay taxes for the development and maintenance of any particular religion or religious community.

5. Culture and educational rights

The Indian Constitution’s Articles 29 and 30 address the right to culture and education. Article 30 recognises the right of all minorities to establish and manage educational institutions of their choice, both religiously and linguistically. Article 29 declares that citizens of all classes residing in Indian territory have the right to preserve their language, script, and culture in any place or part.

6. Right to Constitutional Remedies

This right is enshrined in Articles 32-35 and 226 of the Indian Constitution. If a person is unjustly restricted by this right, he can go to court and claim the right. In addition, under Article 32, a citizen can appeal to the Supreme Court against the violation of his right and enforce the right.

Conclusion:

In summary, the Indian Constitution’s Fundamental Rights include a forward-thinking pledge to protect each citizen’s freedom, dignity, and well-being. These rights, which have their roots in constitutional principles, are a reflection of the democratic beliefs and goals of the country. These rights are necessary for equality, harmony, peace, and the advancement of society, as well as for citizens to live with dignity. These rights are owed to the citizens and cannot be in any way disregarded or denied by the state or government. Similarly, in granting these rights to every citizen, the state or government cannot discriminate on the grounds of caste, gender, religion, education, wealth, region, etc.

Reference:

  1. Pal Devasish, Contemporary India and Education, Rita Publications, Kolkata.
  2. Chatterjee and Chakraborty, Contemporary India and Education, Rita Publications, Kolkata.
  3. Mukherjee Dulal, Contemporary India and Education, Aheli Publishers, Kolkata.

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